Well… blow my socks off! One up for the wee guys and people power. 🙂
According to this BBC story, NHS phone firm cuts call charges, Patientline has been forced to backtrack on the costs they charge for the use of hospital telephones. Now there is a story here, a story of business and business greed of the highest order. Ye see the cost of these calls used to be a mere 10p a minute but, in April, Patientline whacked the cost up to an eye-watering 26p a minute! They also made the minimum cost of a call 40p. All this now reverts to 10p a minute and a 10p minimum charge. It looks like some sort of a victory and somewhat sweeter when the reasons are analysed:-
“Patientline said use of its service had been lower than expected, leaving it struggling with debts. Its systems are installed at more than 75,000 hospital bedsides. In April the company announced it was £80m in debt, and it needed to recoup costs after investing £180m in its terminals.”
Well… what did they expect? They took people who are in trouble and exploited them unmercifully with exorbitant charges and they have just got burned big time. Patientline forgot that people are in hospital because they are ill – not because they are stupid! Patients voted with their feet and used mobile instead. Of course, this is made easier by the relaxation of the pretty silly “No Mobiles” rule in many hospitals.
Mind you this pirate crew are still charging 49p a minute for people to phone into hospitals to talk to loved ones. And they are still defending this as a necessary charge. Whoa… have they not learned a lesson! Anybody want to buy a cheap company? This one will be on the market pretty soon.
So one up for the wee guys I think….. I wonder what the charges are in my local NI hospital. Must go find out. I’ll let you know!